Using Mobile Phones in Bangkok, Thailand
Mobile Phones - The Most Indispensable Tool You'll Ever Need in Thailand
If you are planning a trip to Bangkok or anywhere else in the Kingdom of Thailand, make sure you pack a mobile phone in your bag. Specifically an unlocked GSM capable phone or world phone as others would call it.
A mobile phone is a necessary tool in a country such as Thailand where a large portion of the population only speaks Thai.
One good example for keeping a phone handy with you while exploring Bangkok is if you're staying in a relatively unknown hotel in the old district such as the Bangkok Miramar Hotel. And the only way to get back to your hotel is with a taxi.
Only problem is the driver doesn't know where the hotel is even if you have a map. This is where a mobile phone comes in to save the day. You can dial the hotel and have someone speak directly to the driver.
It is particularly useful for group travelers who want to split up and eventually rejoin later on. And you can always call Bangkok's tourist police by dialing 1155 for information. They can also assist you in disputes with shops in tourist areas such as Patpong nightlife district. However, not all tourist police are adept at their jobs.
Of course you can use your mobile phone with a Thai sim card to call international and double check Uncle Ned's t-shirt size for his souvenir (the instruction booklet that comes with the sim card packet includes instructions on how to dial international calls).
GSM phones require a small sim card chip inserted into the mobile phone in order to work. The kicker is you have to make sure that your mobile phone is unlocked. An unlocked GSM phone will work with any sim card from mobile service providers around the world.
For example If you have purchased an AT&T branded phone from the United States it will be locked to an AT&T sim chip only. So the phone will only work with AT&T's service. However, you can request to have your phone unlocked by calling AT&T and explaining that you are visiting Thailand and would like to use a local sim card over there.
There are many manufacturers of GSM capable phones such as Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. Any Apple iPhone will work too as long as it is not the latest 4S model which requires a smaller sim card. And currently the Apple 4S is not available in Thailand.
Once you have your phone you will need a Thai mobile service provider's sim card in order for you to make calls in Thailand. I recommend a company called DTAC.
DTAC is a very reliable company and you can find their sim cards in 7 Eleven convenience stores because they are everywhere in Thailand. DTAC's sim card comes in a packet with instructions. And the phone numbers are listed on the upper right corner of the packet. It only cost 49 Baht and includes a small credit.
However, once you've arrived in Suvarnbhumi Airport check the arrival hall for a DTAC kiosk. They might be able to offer you a free DTAC sim card.
Unlocked GSM Phones Are Not Expensive
As you long as you're not gunning for the latest Apple iPhone you can buy a good decent unlocked GSM phone everywhere these days at a very affordable price. Personally I prefer smart phones these days so that I can check my email and surf the internet for information whenever I'm stuck in traffic inside a taxi.
Refilling the minutes, or topping up the credits on your mobile phone through DTAC is easy too. Again, head over to one of the many 7 Elevens in Bangkok and you can find refill cards with 60 Baht to 500 Baht increments. Once you follow the easy instructions on back of the refill card you will receive an SMS message regarding your new balance.
There are several DTAC centers too located in major malls where you can refill your credits through friendly customer service reps.
More Articles from this Author
- Guide to Booking Hotels and Flights to Thailand
Whether you are planning a trip to Bangkok or the islands of Koh Samui in Thailand, you'll want to know where you can get the best discount rates for hotels. And this hub will also show you how to get the best airfare deals to Thailand as well as sho
- Bangkok Shopping Guide - A Tour of Bangkok's Popular...
There are a lot of things Bangkok is well known for and bargain shopping is top on the list. Most shops and markets in Bangkok allow customers to haggle and that's really one of the reasons why tourists love shopping in Bangkok. Because big...
- Cheap Bangkok Hotels Near Pratunam Market
Bangkok's Pratunam district is one of the best places to find cheap and affordable budget hotels. If you have a shop until you shop attitude Pratunam Market has it all from cheap quality shirts to sneakers. And staying at a budget hotel in Pratunam..
- Best Bangkok Hotels Near BTS Sky Train Stations
Bangkok BTS Sky Train In my travel articles I always advise travelers to stay in hotels near a train station, if one is available, and preferably within walking distance. Fortunately Bangkok has many hotels of all budgets close to the city's BTS Sky.
Bangkok Hotel Reviews from this Author
- Bangkok Palazzo Hotel Review
The Palazzo Hotel in Bangkok's Huay Kwang district is another highly recommended guest friendly hotel. Even though the Palazzo is situated near a cluster of naughty massage parlors for men, the location of the hotel is not as seedy as most would...
- Bangkok's Baiyoke Sky Hotel Review
The Baiyoke Sky Hotel is Bangkok's most famous hotel and landmark. Find out where it is and how you can get the best discount room rates for the tallest building and hotel in Bangkok, Thailand
- Amora Neoluxe Hotel in Bangkok Review
The Amora Neoluxe Hotel is one of the newest guest friendly hotels in Bangkok's Sukhumvit District, close to the city's red light districts and shopping. Watch a video review and learn where I found the best discount rates for the Amora Neoluxe Hotel
- Miramar Hotel Review in Bangkok's Chinatown
Miramar Hotel in Bangkok located in the city's old district offers calm and tranquility. But is it a good clean budget hotel? And find out where you can get the best discount rates for the Miramar Hotel in Bangkok.
- Bangkok's Mac Boutique Suites Hotel Review
Mac Boutique Suites is a highly recommended guest friendly budget hotel in Bangkok's Sukhumvit District close to the city's nightlife. Read my full report and watch my video review as well as find out where you can get the best room rates for Bangkok
- Bangkok's Boss Suites Hotel Review
Boss Suites Hotel is one of Bangkok's best guest friendly hotels and newest in Sukhumvit 4 in the Nana red light district. Read my review or watch a video review I made of Boss Suites Hotel in Bangkok.